Pregnant 'Man': Barbara Walters Struggles Against Reality

What do you do when a major news network, ABC, gives one of its best-known journalists, Barbara Walters, a bully pulpit to deny the fundamental reality that men and women are different?  You can cry, or you can laugh.

One of the funniest scenes in Life of Brian, the 1979 Monty Python comedy, shows a band of ancient Israelite revolutionaries debating whether to fight for a man's right to have babies.

FRANCIS:  Why are you always on about women, Stan?

STAN:  I want to be one.

REG:  What?

STAN:  I want to be a woman.  From now on, I want you all to call me “Loretta.”

REG:  What?!

LORETTA:  It's my right as a man.

JUDITH:  Well, why do you want to be Loretta, Stan?

LORETTA:  I want to have babies.

REG:  You want to have babies?!

LORETTA:  It's every man's right to have babies if he wants them.

REG:  But... you can't have babies.

LORETTA:  Don't you oppress me.

REG:  I'm not oppressing you, Stan.  You haven't got a womb!  Where's the fetus going to gestate?!  You going to keep it in a box?!

LORETTA:  [starts sobbing]

JUDITH:  Here!  I—I've got an idea.  Suppose you agree that he can't actually have babies, not having a womb, which is nobody's fault, not even the Romans', but that he can have the right to have babies.

FRANCIS:  Good idea, Judith.  We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies, brother.  Sister.  Sorry.

REG:  What's the point?


REG:  What's the point of fighting for his right to have babies when he can't have babies?!

FRANCIS:  It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.

REG:  Symbolic of his struggle against reality.

Just 30 years ago, the notion of a man bearing babies was ridiculous enough to power an entire scene in an over-the-top comedy.  My, how times have changed.  Now the media are taking the subject seriously, or at least pretending to take it seriously, with Barbara Walters leading the parade. 

Walters is currently touting her “exclusive” story that the so-called “pregnant man,” Thomas Beatie, is expecting again – and she's pulling out all the stops to persuade America that changing sex is “normal.”  During her special on Thomas and Nancy Beatie, Walters repeats doggedly, almost desperately, that the Beaties are “normal” and “ordinary.”

The problem is, transgenderism is not a joke and it is not normal.  It's a real mental disorder, inflicting real anguish on real people. 

As a journalist, Barbara Walters should tell the truth about Beatie and transgenderism.

The truth is very simple:  Thomas Beatie is not a man, and changing sexes is a disorder, not a choice. Thomas Beatie, the onetime beauty pageant contestant Tracy LaGondino, is a deeply troubled woman afflicted with Gender Identity Disorder. 

According to The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, the first criterion for diagnosing Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is “evidence of a strong and persistent cross-gender identification, which is the desire to be, or the insistence that one is, of the other sex.”  Adults with GID, “are preoccupied with their wish to live as a member of the other sex.  This preoccupation may be manifested as an intense desire to adopt the social role of the other sex or to acquire the physical appearance of the other sex through hormonal or surgical manipulation.”

LaGondino underwent surgical mutilation and hormone treatments to make herself resemble a man.  Then she changed her name and persuaded the state of Oregon to declare her officially to be a man, though she kept her female reproductive organs. 

Some medical authorities believe in treating GID with “sex reassignment” surgery, but the prestigious Johns Hopkins Medical School long ago stopped offering such “therapy.”  The hospital's former head of psychiatry, Dr. Paul McHugh, noted as early as the 1970s that people who received sex changes continued to suffer with various psychological problems associated with GID.   McHugh wrote in an article, “Surgical Sex,” that “to provide a surgical alteration to the body of these unfortunate people was to collaborate with a mental disorder rather than to treat it.”  It's as if Oregon dealt with alcoholics by giving them a lifetime supply of Wild Turkey.

Walters is unwilling to acknowledge that Beatie's condition is a mental disorder, an inconvenient fact for the leftwing activists striving to eradicate distinctions between the sexes and persuade Americans to accept families not headed by a husband and wife.  Rather than facing the facts, Walters and ABC are manipulating America's heartstrings.  ABC's Web site is running a series of pictures of Walters, Nancy Beatie and Thomas Beatie cooing over each other and the couple's baby girl.

Men can no more have babies in 2008 than poor Stan/Loretta could in ancient Israel.  The media's job is to report the facts, not to deny reality in order to promote an Alice in Wonderland ideological agenda.  Is Barbara Walters a journalist or a propagandist?

Brian Fitzpatrick is senior editor at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.